Indiana vs. Utah prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Foster Farms Bowl between the Hoosiers and Utes.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 28 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
TV Broadcast: FOX
The season has been a success for Indiana (6-6) based on its recent standards. Even though Kevin Wilson was fired by the Hoosiers, he wasn’t let go because of production. He led the team to bowl eligibility in back-to-back years for the first time since the early 1990s. Indiana also finished off its season with a 26-24 win over rival Purdue.
As for Utah (8-4), the 2016 campaign started off great. The Utes won seven of their first eight games, and things were looking up despite having suffered some key injuries. But Kyle Whittingham’s team fell in three of its final four games of the season to Washington, Oregon and Colorado. The losses to the Huskies and Buffaloes weren’t that bad considering they played each other in the Pac-12 title game, but a loss to the Ducks on a last-second passing touchdown really hurt.
The all-time series between the Hoosiers and Utes is not extensive. They’ve met only three times, and Utah has won two of those matchups. The last time they met was in 2002 when the Utes won in Salt Lake City, 40-13.
What To Know About Indiana
The quarterback play for the Hoosiers has been anything but clean. Richard Lagow has thrown 18 touchdowns to 16 interceptions this season, and he’s completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 3,174 yards. His leading receiver is Nick Westbrook, who has hauled in 49 catches for 915 yards and five touchdowns.
In the running game, Devine Redding is the name to keep an eye on. He’s racked up 1,050 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 236 carries for Indiana. Behind him is Zander Diamont, who has rushed for four touchdowns and 241 yards on 38 touches. Diamont also the Hoosiers’ longest run from scrimmage, which was a 59-yard touchdown.
What to Know About Utah
As mentioned, the Utes have seen their fair share of injuries, including linebacker Cody Barton, who is out with a broken collarbone. But they have gotten a lot of production from Joe Williams and have been pleasantly surprised by what he’s been able to accomplish out of the backfield since he came out of retirement — only weeks after stepping away from the game. Williams has rushed for 1,185 yards and nine touchdowns on 184 carries.
Through the air, Utah isn’t as pristine. Troy Williams has connected on 53.4 percent of his passes for 2,579 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Tim Patrick has been on the receiving end of five of those touchdowns. He’s accounted for 684 yards on 43 catches.
Offense: Utah – Joe Williams has been on a tear, and Indiana can’t stop him.
Defense: Utah – Even without Barton, the Utes have the edge. They rank No. 38 in scoring defense, allowing 23.9 points per game.
Special Teams: Utah – Andy Phillips has converted all 41 of his extra points and 17-of-21 field goal attempts.
Coaching: Utah – Whittingham has done a great job this season, and Indiana is going through a rocky time right now having just hired Tom Allen to replace Wilson.
Matchup To Watch
Joe Williams vs. Indiana front seven
Stopping Williams is anything but an easy task. However, if they can get it together and keep him from picking up those 20-plus-yard runs, the Hoosiers can keep the game in a manageable situation. They have to maintain gap integrity, wrap up and drive Williams to the ground. If they try to arm tackle him, he’ll break through for a lot of yards after first contact.
Spread: No line as of publication
Over/Under: No line as of publication
Indiana vs. Utah Prediction
Williams’ longest touchdown run this season has been for 82 yards. The Hoosiers aren’t ready for that kind of big-play ability. He’ll go off for 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Troy Williams will protect the football and will minimize Indiana’s chances to flip the field off turnovers. Redding will be solid, but he won’t do enough to stop Utah fro winning this one.
Indiana vs. Utah Score Prediction: Utah 37, Indiana 24
Campus Insiders Staff Picks
Brian Stultz: Utah
Jeff Bartl: Utah
Rich Cirminiello: Utah
Robert Judin: Utah
Jordan Cornette: Utah